Motorists could soon pay for parking by mobile phone as part of radical plans.
Brighton and Hove City Council believe the move, which could see people pay by making a call, sending a text or using an app, would make it quicker for motorists when leaving their vehicles in its 25,000 spaces.
However it would see drivers paying up to an extra 20p a time to cover the cost of providing the service.
Ian Davey, the chairman of the council’s transport committee, said: “Paying by phone can be simple and quick and the system is already established in many parts of the country.
“Following requests from residents, visitors and local traders we hope to be able to roll this out in the city by early summer.”
Similar schemes already operate in areas of London, Manchester and Birmingham, as well as Brighton Station.
Drivers have to register their vehicle and card payment details with the service provider.
When parking, the driver sends the location code displayed on a sign and the length of time they wish to stay.
This information is logged on the system and checked remotely by civil enforcement officers on patrol.
Drivers using the scheme can also extend their parking time remotely without having to return to their car.
Other services such as reminder texts sent ten minutes before their ticket expires will also be available for a small fee.
Currently, only 61 of the council’s 1,119 Pay and Display machines can accept both card payments and cash.
Councillors will agree next week if they want to join the four year scheme being set up by the London Borough of Lambeth and also including the City of Westminster, Transport for London and the City of London Corporation.
It comes after 45 per cent of motorists canvassed in the local authority’s parking review said they would probably pay by phone.
Conservative councillor Graham Cox said he fully supported the plan, adding: “It will make parking much more convenient for residents and visitors and should also reduce operational costs.
“I hope that some of these cost savings will be used to reduce parking charges rather than going straight into the council’s coffers.
“I’m also glad to see that the administration is embracing Eric Pickles’ vision of working with other councils to reduce overheads and back office costs.
“I would like to see this happen much more regularly on a whole range of other services in the future.”
Talking point: How likely are you to pay for parking using a mobile phone? Would you rather pay cash?
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